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Make a mini allotment

Activity

Grow vegetables all year round in mini allotments on your windowsill using recycled containers.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, PSHE, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Observe how seeds grow into plants
  • Develop an awareness of the seasonality of vegetables
  • Explore the requirements of plants for life

Preparation

Research which microgreens you would like to grow and source the seeds.
Collect recycled veg and fruit containers, fruit crates or old pots (make drainage holes in the bottoms). You can grow several mini allotments at the same time.
 

Equipment needed

  • Recycled containers and old trays
  • Weed suppressant material or recycled compost bags (make holes for drainage)
  • Compost 
  • Vegetable seeds (microgreens)
  • Labels and pencil
  • Watering can with rose
  • A bright windowsill

Quick growing micro greens - harvest 10-15 days

Rocket, broccoli, cabbage (green & red), cress, kale, kohl rabi, mizuna (red & green), mustard, pak choi, radish and pea shoots

Slow growing micro greens - harvest 16-25 days

Basil, beetroot, chard, lettuce, mustard and spring onion

Step by step

  1. Find a suitable container and ensure it has drainage holes.
  2. If the container has some open sides (such as fruit crates) you may need to line it with a weed suppressant fabric or recycled plastic bags (with holes) to stop the compost falling out.
  3. Fill the container with compost and make it level.
  4. Choose your microgreen seeds and follow the instructions for planting on the packet. Remember you can plant much closer than described as you will be harvesting before the plants reach maturity.
  5. Plant and label the seeds you have sown (usually in rows). Water the mini allotment outside using a watering can with a rose and let the water drain through.
  6. Bring the mini allotment indoors and place on a bright windowsill.
  7. Remember to check the mini allotment regularly and water when the compost is dry.
  8. The crops should be ready for harvest between 10 and 25 days

Hints & tips

  • Place the container on an old tray so the windowsill doesn't get wet!
  • Don't put the mini allotment directly above a radiator as it will dry out too quickly
  • Remember longer, lighter days produce quicker crops

We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards